Food fight: Richard Carstens

Multi-award winning Cape Town chef Richard Carstens says that ethical eating has rightly become a form of political expression.

From the Series

Richard Carstens is the multi-award winning chef at the Tokara Restaurant outside Stellenbosch. He served up a lauded tribute meal to Ferran Adrià on 30 July this year. We asked him whether ethical eating has become a form of political expression?

Yes, it has and it should. Ethical eating should no longer be viewed as a hippie notion of “should I eat meat or vegetables?” The food we eat is linked to politics; think agriculture, genetic modification of crops, genetic pollution of species and food security. We all need to start informing ourselves more and make the right food choices. Ethical eating doesn’t simply mean understanding whether the vegetables you are eating are sustainable or organic and your beef grass-fed. More importantly, it is about learning to understand biodiversity, extinction of species and environmental impact. The food choices we are making in relation to this can’t only be about great packaging, merchandising and in-store lighting. It has to be more informed, we have to think of the future.